China Bans Hip-Hop from Television and Other Media

Chinese government officials have passed legislation banning hip-hop music and culture from Chinese media. It bans massive bling, tattoos, and other depictions of hip-hop lifestyles in mainstream culture from China’s airwaves.

Gao Changli, director of publicity for China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Film, and Television (SAPPRFT) stated: “Absolutely do not use actors whose heart and morality are not aligned with the party and whose morality is not noble; absolutely do not use actors who are tasteless, vulgar, and/or obscene; absolutely do not use actors whose ideological level is low and have no class; absolutely do not use actors with stains, scandals, and problematic moral integrity.”

This means, if you’ve ever made a mistake, don’t conform to what the government considers to be tasteful, or have a single bad rep on your sheet, say goodbye to performing in China.

It’s been reported that China’s ban is a response to a television series The Rap of China. The series was received well by their public after airing last summer. However, the Chinese government believed the show’s popularity was inappropriate. Chinese Rapper based in Shanghai, Al Rocco, said “The government don’t understand the culture yet, so they are scared. We have a different system here and it’s just evolving now. They’ve always asked to check my lyrics, but it’s got much tighter.”

China hip-hop ban
Al Rocco in music video

People around the world are calling the director out for stereotyping hip-hop culture as vulgar, obscene, immoral, and without class. Granted, there are those who take on this persona in their music, but it is not representative of all hip-hop artists.

How do you think growing up without Drake, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, J Cole and other greats would be? China’s next generation of children may gain what big name American hip-hop artists have provided American youth, an open and more expressive mind.

Is it time for hip-hop to change? It seems a change in hip-hop is arriving.  The American hip-hop culture seems to be shifting toward ways of enlightening youth. This isn’t the case for all American hip-hop, but a radical change in the theme of hip-hop is apparent. China’s ban seems to target the culture of aggressive and rule breaking hip-hop. The legislation seems to mean well, but has sent the wrong message by grouping all of hip-hop together and banning it from their public. Due to their all-inclusive ban, the world of Rap is now exiled from the country, and people are fighting back.

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